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article imageChinese troupe performs as enthusiastic North Korean soccer fans

By Igor I. Solar     Jun 16, 2010 in Sports
Johannesburg - A colourful group of fans with flags and red and blue scarves that tirelessly cheered North Korea’s soccer team yesterday during their worthy match against Brazil were a group of Chinese actors hired for this purpose.
There were two large groups of fans enduring the cold South African winter night to encourage the North Korean national soccer team playing Brazil at Ellis Park Stadium on Tuesday 15. One group was composed by about 300 carefully selected individuals from North Korea, duly trusted by leader Kim Jong-il to represent the North Korean soccer fans abroad. The “fans” in the second group were Chinese "volunteers" hired by a Chinese Sports Public Relations company at the request of the North Korea Sports Committee that provided travel expenses and a thousand tickets for them to show up and support the North Korean national soccer team at the South African World Cup competition.
Since very few North Koreans can afford to travel to South Africa because of cost and the enormous difficulty of getting visas, North Korea asked its neighbour and long-time ally to provide "fans". This large ensemble of fans included dancers, musicians and other artists who were organized and directed in their cheering performance by a “conductor”. They acknowledged being very happy to don the North Korean national colors and root for their “cousins”, reported London’s Evening Standard.
This is the Chollima (the nickname of the North Korean national soccer team) second time at the World Cup finals. They played first in 1966 and reached the quarter-finals. Their next games in South Africa are on 21 June against Portugal and on 25 June against Côte d'Ivoire.
More about North korea, World cup finals, China
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